Police are investigating a deadly prop gun incident that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last Thursday at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The incident involved a firearm on the set of the upcoming Western film “Rust” which left the director of photography Halyna dead and the director injured.
Report says star actor Alec Baldwin discharged the prop gun while releasing a scene.
A release from the sheriff’s office says “According to investigators it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged, “Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.”
A helicopter reportedly transported cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, to the University of New Mexico Hospital after the incident, where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel.
Also, the director, 42-year-old Joel Souza, was transported via ambulance to Christus St. Vincent’s hospital and is receiving emergency treatment for his injuries.
Lead actor and producer Alec Baldwin who ‘accidentally’ discharged the prop gun while recounting the horror in a series of tweets said “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours”.
More facts are however emerging about the gun that killed the “Rust” cinematographer as it is being revealed that the same rifle was used by crew members the morning of the incident for live-ammunition target practice.
A number of crew members had taken prop guns from the New Mexico set of the indie Western — including the gun that killed Hutchins — to go “plinking,” a hobby in which people shoot at beer cans with live ammunition to pass the time, an insider revealed.
Alec Baldwin was said to have been misled into discharging a revolver after first assistant director David Halls grabbed one of three prop guns set up by armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed and yelled “cold gun” as he handed it to lead actor Alec Baldwin, indicating that the gun did not have any live rounds, a sheriff search warrant has discovered.
Baldwin, rehearsing a scene for the film, was “pointing the revolver towards the camera lens” when it hit director Joel Souza and Hutchins, according to the search warrant made public on Sunday. Hutchins grabbed her midsection and then stumbled backwards as she was assisted to the ground, Souza told authorities. Souza, who was also injured when the gun was discharged, was released from a local hospital that night.
New warrants have also confirmed that several members of the below-the-line IATSE union film crew had walked off the set earlier that day after complaining about housing, payment and working conditions, and that would ordinarily trigger a shutdown of the entire production for 24-48 hours, but producers chose to hire non-union new crew to continue the shoot.
The film production has been shut down while the police investigation is ongoing as detectives continue to interview witnesses.
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